The Florentine community is located in south Tel-Aviv. The neighborhood is bounded by Jaffa Road in the north, Ha’aliya Street in the east, Salame Road in the south, and Elifelet Street in the west. The neighborhood was established in 1927 as an urban area that combined trade, handicrafts, and small industry. In the 1970s, the quality of living in the neighborhood deteriorated, partially due to the neglect and low-quality of building construction and to a severe lack of social services. In the 1980s and ’90s, the Tel Aviv municipality began a program of urban renewal in the neighborhood, which brought about an accelerated gentrification process in the area, and made the survival of veteran residents’ nearly impossible.
Alongside soaring rents and new demographic tensions, residents also face the dwindling of critical social services offered to families and children. Nowadays, the Florentine neighborhood suffers from a lack of infrastructure for families and women: there is only one day care center, no local pediatrician, and only one kindergarten, which is not big enough for all of the resident children. The elementary school was also closed and made into an art center. The only public green space is not suitable for kids and is populated mainly by dogs.
Following a arduous campaign for a community space undertaken by Mahapach-Taghir and residents; the municipality has allowed the use of two rooms in the former elementary School of Druyanov. The “Florentine Community Center,” the only public building in the neighborhood, operates with the support of residents, Mahapach-Taghir, and the Municipality’s community, youth and sports department.
The Learning Community is open every Thursday, and focused on middle-school and high-school aged youth. 20 youth attend the Learning Community and work with 7 students and volunteer.
Communal activities, events and campaigns are planned and organized in conjunction with the local communal Steering Committee; and the preschool-education team, who are involved in all Learning Community initiatives and advocate for the improvement of educational services in the neighborhood.
To learn more and get involved, contact the Florentine Coordinator.